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Back to Nebraska for Christmas!!

This past Saturday, John & I were alternatingly excited to return to the States to visit our family, and depressed to be leaving 72F weather for impending snow & windchills of -30F below zero. After another magical sub-30 minute trip to the airport at 7:30AM, we confirmed that American Airlines is the least organized airline at the Mexico City airport. On every Mexican airline flight I’ve taken, checking-in has taken roughly 10 minutes thanks to ~10 staffed windows. American had 3 people checking in the entire coach class of flights to Dallas, Miami and Chicago, so we stood in line for 60 minutes but still had time to spare. Note to self– fly Mexican airlines in/out of D.F., because they are more efficient and you get free food (actual food, not just pretzels) & booze on board.

As soon as we got to the U.S., John housed two glasses of tap-water-with-lemon just because he could.

As soon as we got to the U.S., John housed two glasses of tap-water-with-lemon just because he could.

Flying via Dallas (a wise choice, since every other hub in the US was slammed by snow/ice storms), we had a couple hours to kill during our layover. We seized the opportunity to re-acquaint ourselves with American-style dining, namely absolutely mammoth portions of food, but best of all, drinkable tap water!! And lemons!! 

Recounting this exciting fact to my mom later, she queried whether I had seen the recent filthy-lemons exposes. I confirmed yes, but I was fairly certain that no piddly lemon bacteria could rival that which my stomach was attempting to acquire in Mexico City.

Anyway, we actually made it into Omaha ON TIME!! (unlike my brother, stranded until 1.5 days later), and had a lovely dinner at my fav restaurant the Upstream Brewery with some friends & family before hitting the cooold cold roads with the aforementioned -30F windchill. Our first few days here in scenic Grand Island have not disappointed.

Is this business actually successful??

Is this business actually successful??

The illustrious Conestoga Mall has added a few gems to its collection of bustling stores, including some sort of John Deere souvenir store that was a prime spot for photos. The old movie theatre has been taken over by Glowgolf (what in the hell??), a hot new activity that my mom informs me is “very popular with the kids these days”.

Yes!! Farm Toys!!! Thank you!!!!

Yes!! Farm Toys!!! Thank you!!!!


Ahh, if only I had enough space in my luggage to bring this backhoe back to Mexico...

Ahh, if only I had enough space in my luggage to bring this backhoe back to Mexico...

 Luckily, our standby from junior high “drop us off at the mall on Saturday afternoon and we will spend 4 hours walking by 50 stores & hoping to see somebody cool” days is still kicking: The Incredible Bulk, a wittily named candy store.  There has been a lot of turnover at the Conestoga Mall, but apparently the demand for products to help you get fatter rarely dies down.

John applied for a job as Incredible Bulk security guard.

John applied for a job as Incredible Bulk security guard.

And finally, the mall also now has a trendy pet products store, so trendy that my mom was able to purchase a sweater for our dog Dave, the Jack Russell Terrier. Dave is getting a bit old & seems to get chilled easily, so she felt a sweater might be just the thing, and clearly what is better than a dog sweater? A MEXICAN FLAG dog sweater!!!

¡Viva México!, Dave seems to be saying

¡Viva México!, Dave seems to be saying

The only other highlight was my strange compulsion to visit one of the Mexican grocery stores in town last night, I guess to see if there would be any wacky ingredients that we now know how to use that we could surprise my parents with. And, I guess, the latent hope that here perhaps John & I speaking Spanish would be novel & perhaps we could impress someone (unlike in D.F., where we just look like morons). Unfortunately, our attempts to bond with the La Mexicana store employee didn’t go very smoothly, as she didn’t seem particularly comfortable with John’s repeated attempts to ask how long she’d been living in Grand Island.  Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

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  1. Steven Roll says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog over the last few months. Not only for the wonderful pictures, but also for the insights about living in Mexico City.

    Today, I’ve launched my own blog about traveling in Latin America. It’s called Travelojos. Here is the link: http://travelojos.com/

    Needless to say, I’ve added your blog to my blog roll.

    I am wondering if you would add my blog to your blog roll.


    Steve Roll

  2. Kim says:

    My dad wants to know where he can find a john deere backhoe? He think the kids “have to have one!”

  3. Pretty Pet Boutique says:

    Thanks for the mini-nice review of Pretty Pet Boutique in Conestoga Mall! We opened August 2008. The picture of your dog is GREAT!

  4. Jim G. says:

    Hi Julie, et. al.

    This is the day after we spent a nice evening swatting mosquitos, sipping wine, ingesting overdone steaks and getting caught up on the Carmann Kids’ exploits. Your folks were recovering from being dazzled by the Badlands and Black Hills region. Mother Marcia let this blog URL slip and with lightening quickness I broke three pencil leads trying to get it written down. Luckily Fran has total recall and filled me in after your folks left.

    I’ve really enjoyed what I have read so far, but must admit to being surprised at the failure of my prediction that you would marry a jockey or jazz drummer from St. Louis. You’ve certainly defied the odds…I’m usually spot on, occasionally…o.k. once.

    I hope the price of pork stays down, we are quite fond of swine products, including Spam. Sounds like you are at the epicenter of the blue light special for piggie products.

    We just bought a new AMERICAN made car (Ford) with engine and tranny from the ORIENT that was assembled at the Hermosillo Stamping & Assembly plant which must be very near you…right? (It had to go through quarintine for swine flu so we’ve tentatively named it “Babe-acito” We may change it to Pedro-san when the quarintine runs out.) It makes great mileage but coughs occasionally…

    You have such a neat blog site–but I admit that I was hoping that your trombone would show up, even as a planter. I’ll keep watching and enjoying your adventures!

    Best wishes,

    jim grimes

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